The first hint was the Fox News poll that came out showing Trump in second place Nationally after a New Hampshire poll right before that by another firm that put him second in New Hampshire. Then we have the national PPP poll that places Trump 3rd.
Now, we have a Michigan poll from PPP that came out today. This seems to confirm what Fox News found on the national level. While Fox has a vested interest in propping up GOP candidates, this would make no sense for them to do in regards to Trump. It is no secret that Trump and Fox are not the best of friends. So it would make no sense for them to bend the numbers to make Trump actually appear electable, and more electable than some other GOP candidates. The Michigan PPP poll has Trump only 1% behind the front runner, Scott Walker, and in a three-way tie for second.
So it seems clear that Trump has trusted himself quickly into the top few candidates for the GOP in 2016. What comes as a shock, though, is how well he is doing against Clinton compared the the remainder of the GOP field.
Below is a table I created of the PPP results. I used my ERNE number for Michigan to extrapolate what a national margin might look like for these results. The problem is that these numbers all give the GOP popular vote victories on the national level. The problem with any sort of fundamental statistic that tries to find partisan levels for a state is that the last two Presidential elections Obama did quite well here. Democrats do have the ability to out perform in Michigan in relation to Nationwide as well. In 2014, Peters won a decisive election to the Senate in a horrible year to be a Democrat. Though, part of that did have to do with the sub-par candidate the GOP put forward.
While Trump is likley to fade the more the talks, he is actually not in nearly as bad of shape as some in the media seem to be suggesting. An added plus for him is that he has the name recognition and the money to keep himself relevant for longer than other less well funded candidates.
*** I am going to note that the point of the ERNE numbers are to extrapolate National numbers down to the state level and not the other way around. It is hard to tell with just a single state whether the candidates are just doing better or worse there or if it is a national trend. National trends have more effect on state-wide trends than state-wide trends have on national trends.